eCLOSE Undergraduate Bridge to Research
Undergraduate Bridge to Research is an intensive immersion into research, modeled on the format of a graduate school rotation. Participants (rising high school seniors through undergraduates) conduct a genetic screen to identify diet-derived or other ingestible compounds that affect driver mutations of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, neurodegeneration, and even viral infection and then develop fully independent projects to address key questions focused on the health disparities within their own families or communities. The program is comprised of 3 phases:
During Phase I: boot camp, students learn critical lab techniques, including using a balance, pipetting, dilutions, creating solutions needed for the experimental program, basic fly husbandry, connections of genotype and phenotype, and setting up the genetic screen described above.
In Phase II: Independent research, students build independent projects using a series of menus to hone their interests into feasible, fundable new projects. Techniques span fly behavior, biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology, all of which have been adapted to be used in an at-home environment. The goal of Phase II is for students to find their "science soul" and establish research interests that will be lasting throughout their careers.
In Phase III: Students present the results of their work in short oral presentations. Even if you do not send students this year, please plan to participate in the presentation day on August 11! It's mind blowing every year.
eCLOSE Undergraduate Bridge is conducted using a virtual hybrid format. Students receive fully equipped research stations in the mail, set up research labs in their homes or dorms, and gain instruction and support from eCLOSE experts via Zoom. To date, over 75% of eCLOSE UG Bridge participants have moved on to paid fellowships in research labs, with one student so far matriculating in a Ph.D. program at Thomas Jefferson University. There are no restrictions for participation- we welcome all demographics, cultures, and ideas, with the goal of mixing different backgrounds to create completely novel and synergistic research projects. We are working to secure funding to ensure equity, so please encourage all students to apply. If your university is interested in sponsoring students, we are more than happy to talk about that. So far, two universities have committed to sponsoring, which is fantastic and helps us ensure support for anyone who needs it. We are also happy to support efforts to attain local funding and have successfully helped multiple institutions acquire funding to support their students' participation. Whatever it takes to get kids research experiences, we are all in!
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
Each summer the Yale SURF Program brings a group of qualified undergraduates to Yale for eight weeks. The experience is meant to familiarize students with the kind of work they can expect to do in graduate school, provide them with insight into the many steps involved in building a career based on PhD level training, as well as foster a sense of confidence regarding their own abilities and potential.
The focus of the program is primarily on research and on the methods of professional research. Students in the natural sciences learn advanced laboratory methods and conduct PhD level research in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Students in the humanities and social sciences work closely with mentors and have at their disposal the considerable archival resources found in the Yale University libraries.